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Ideas and views from across the left

Don’t be fooled - Ukip offers nothing to Britain’s workers

Paul Kenny, 31 Oct 2014

Paul Kenny warns that many of Ukip’s supporters would actually be far worse off under its policies

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Lyons does 90% of the job

Steve Hilditch, 17 Oct 2014

Steve Hilditch, a housing consultant and contributor to Red Brick, gives his response to the Lyons Review.

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What conference season has told us about political apathy

Ellie O’Hagan, 14 Oct 2014

There are large swathes of the electorate who are disillusioned, angry, alienated from politics, and feeling ripped off and unrepresented. Unfortunately this conclusion seems to have largely passed our political leaders by. There was a palpable sense of a bullet dodged at Labour conference after the Scottish referendum, and inadequate interest in why nearly half of Scotland’s population decided they’d rather live in a foreign country than be tied to Westminster. Sure, the leaders called for change – but you got the sense that they were only calling for change because they thought that’s what you have to do to make sure things stay the same. Ellie Mae O'Hagan looks over the implications of widespread disillusion.

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Conservative Party Conference: The view from the library next door

Liam Crosby, 1 Oct 2014

An initial reaction to the announcement of further welfare cuts outlined at this year's Conservative Party Conference.

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TTIP: a view from the centre left

Adrian Weir, 25 Sep 2014

If the Government is struggling to win hearts and minds for TTIP it may be because of the questionable economic benefits promised, the experience of the Americans with NAFTA, the developing opposition of organised labour to ISDS and the realisation that improved labour rights may be undeliverable.

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Whose recovery is it?

Rae Delanie Passfield, 22 Sep 2014

Income inequality in the UK is one of the worst in the developed world. With the five richest families holding more wealth than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population, it is unsurprising people are so frustrated with the system. Class, together with the Institute of Employment Rights, published a report that discusses this disparity and how trade unions can offer vital empowerment for those battling against it.

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A decent deal for workers

Jim Sheridan, 18 Sep 2014

It’s clear that if workers are to get a decent deal there must be a big change in industrial relations in this country. As part of a broader programme of improving rights at work and the role of trade unions in the economy, the inclusion of worker representatives on company boards could be one way of achieving a more cooperative relationship between management and employees.

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In an era of public spending restraint, how can economic inequality be addressed?

Lydia Hayes, 8 Sep 2014

Our new book for Class and the Institute of Employment Rights is positive about the role trade unions could play in establishing a more equal economic future. As TUC we outline our recommendations.

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The link between the rise of food banks and the rolling back of the welfare state

Richard Bridge, 18 Aug 2014

Food banks help local authorities evade their responsibilities to benefit claimants. We must be careful of legitimising the notion of hunger as a matter for charity and depoliticising debate on the right to food.

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Thomas Piketty talks inequality and politics with Class

Ellie O’Hagan, 8 Aug 2014

In June the leading economist Thomas Piketty joined Class at Parliament to discuss his work with Labour peer and Senior Adviser to Ed Miliband Lord Stewart Wood in front of an audience of MPs and policy makers. Here are the reactions.

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How to Regulate Zero Hours Contracts

Zoe Adams, Simon Deakin, 8 Aug 2014

The Institute of Employment Rights has released a new publication entitled 'Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts.' Here co-author Zoe Adams outlines the key points.

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Here’s why we should reject government proposals to sell student debt to universities

Shelly Asquith, 4 Aug 2014

This is the latest scramble to find a solution to the loans crisis, and potentially even more problematic than the now buried proposal of selling it off to private companies. Marketising education is an experiment which has cost the taxpayer more, not less, and saddled a generation of people with a debt they will likely never pay off.

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Proposals to revoke bankers’ bonuses don’t go far enough

Professor Prem Sikka, 31 Jul 2014

The government has unveiled proposals to defer or revoke bankers' bonuses in the event of misconduct. These proposals may soothe public anxieties, but they don't address the toxic banking culture which led to the financial crisis of 2008.

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Why we must close gaps in the law around domestic violence

Polly Neate, 29 Jul 2014

Women's organisations created the Domestic Violence Law Reform Campaign to make domestic violence a specific offence. Only when society recognises domestic violence as a pattern of control, and not a one-off incident, will victims no longer be stigmatised and services no longer be provided of vital long-term funding.

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The great Home Office jobs trick

Richard Simcox, 28 Jul 2014

As passport office staff strike for another 24 hours, PCS Press Officer Richard Simcox sheds some light on the internal workings of the dispute.

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Low pay and increased job insecurity: the state of single parent employment

Matt Hawkins, 22 Jul 2014

Gingerbread’s latest report, Paying the Price: The long road to recovery, reveals how this dangerous cocktail of recession and cutbacks has particularly harmed single parent incomes and their job prospects.

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Securing the future of our public services

Dave Arnold, 21 Jul 2014

Securing the future of our public services is a manifesto for the future of our public services, produced by Unison. It outlines in detail the challenges faced by public services, identifies key priorities and suggests solutions for the future.

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The Bedroom tax by numbers

Zorana Halpin, 18 Jul 2014

After the Department for Work and Pensions released its impact assessment on the bedroom tax this week; Shelter looks at the key facts.

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Labour needs to nationalise the railways

Mick Whelan, 11 Jul 2014

Privatisation has been a failure. Pledging to nationalise the railways would help Labour win the 2015 general election.

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Fighting austerity: why we need to talk about human rights

Alice Donald, 10 Jul 2014

Human rights are integral to ensuring the government is legally and morally responsible to its citizens. he government's socio-economic obligations are real and binding – and fundamental to the protection of human dignity.

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The views, policy proposals and comments on this site do not represent the collective views of Class but only the views of the authors.

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